BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Sheriffs' Association has come out in opposition to House Bill 122, a measure that would legalize production of industrial hemp in Idaho.

The bill was introduced to the House Agricultural Affairs Committee earlier this month. It would legalize the growth, transportation and sale of hemp in Idaho.

The bill would change Idaho law to conform to the 2018 federal farm bill signed into law by President Trump in December.

The sheriff’s association said the introduction of hemp without proper safeguards in place, is the proverbial camel's nose under the tent with growing marijuana in Idaho.

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They say the bill should not be allowed to move forward because it fails to provide a mechanism for testing agricultural hemp to meet the standards set forth in the bill and under federal law.

House Bill 122 would limit Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) concentration to 0.3%, equal to that of federal regulations, but there is no provision for testing hemp to ensure it is compliant, argue the sheriff's association.

There currently are no field tests that can determine THC concentrations in the plant. State forensic labs must send samples out of state for lab testing at considerable expense to taxpayers.

The sheriff’s association goes on to say that marijuana in any form is not an Idaho value. And that those in law enforcement fight daily against the ills caused by drug abuse. They urged lawmakers to keep HB 122 in the drawer.

So far, the bill remains in committee and a hearing has yet to be scheduled.